Tom Brady and Bill Belichick collected six Super Bowl titles during their time together with the New England Patriots. During that span, many debated who deserved more credit: the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback, or the all-time great head coach?
Well, in March 2020, Brady departed the Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency and proceeded to win a championship in his first year with the Buccaneers. Meanwhile, New England went 7-9 and missed the playoffs.
While that answered the question for most people, there were some who still felt that Belichick was deserving of at least equal praise for the Pats’ remarkable two-decade run.
But as the Patriots continue to labor in their fourth straight year without Brady, it’s getting harder and harder to make that argument.
As a matter of fact, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey is questioning if Belichick was ever all that good.
On his Punchline Podcast this week, Humphrey said that he didn’t necessarily want to say that Belichick was “washed,” because in order to be washed, you had to be “dirty” at one point.
Ouch. That is some tough criticism, but so long as the Patriots keep struggling, the Belichick skeptics are going to get louder and louder.
New England has gotten off to an 0-2 start this season, marking the first time the club has dropped its first two games since 2001. That was the year Brady eventually stepped in for the injured Drew Bledsoe and won his first Super Bowl title.
One thing is for sure: the Pats do not look anything like a championship contender this season. As a matter of fact, it may take all they have to finish higher than last place in the AFC East.
The Patriots will aim to pick up their first win of 2023 when they take on the New York Jets on Sunday. New England has won its last 14 meetings with the Jets, so this seems like a good place for the Pats to start. The Patriots have not started 0-3 since Bill Belichick’s first season at the helm in 2000.